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What to do when I hate marketing?

My co-founder and I have been working on a new side-project called Featurebase for about five months now. We have had over five clients, and we are currently sitting at around $45 MMR, so we clearly could do better. 😀

From the feedback that we have gathered from our users, we feel like we have a solid product. The main problem is that we both love building new features but hate marketing...

So far, we have tried cold email outreach, Reddit posts, Betalist and a few other platforms, but these ways of getting clients don't feel sustainable and have not worked that well for us. I would appreciate it if you guys could share some thoughts about the best ways to approach marketing and our current situation.

You can take a look at our product here to get a better understanding: http://featurebase.app/

  1. 4

    I’d make a list of your top 100 ideal customers. Reach out to them. Do research type conversations to learn how they talk about their problems so you can know how to talk about your solution.

    Then I would think about potentially doing an affiliate program. 30% is pretty normal for software. This rewards others for marketing for you. And giving up 30% of something is better than taking home 100% of nothing.

    This was a huge boost to ConvertKit back in the day. Pat Flynn was an ideal customer and when they got him on board and gave him an affiliate deal, they doubled over and over and over the next few months.

    I absolutely love marketing and would be willing to jump on a call to help out next week if that’s helpful to you.

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot for your feedback! 😀 We will start with the top 100 ideal customer list right away. When the product has grown a bit, we will begin building out the affiliate system.

  2. 4

    First, I love the design of your site. Definitely communicates credibility and coolness.

    With just a glance at your homepage, I'd recommend you try and be more precise in your positioning before you experiment with any more marketing tactics.

    After a few minutes on your site, I'm still not entirely sure what you are - like how exactly you help customers achieve the goal of faster, better products? I'd use the space below your headline to explain in the simplest terms possible, exactly what it is you've made.

    Second, a lot of very different products could make the promise you're making -"build products your customers need." It makes sense as a benefit, but maybe isn't specific enough as you're just getting started. Also, I'm missing what's different about your product vs. the competitors. Why would I choose Featurebase? How is it uniquely better than what else is out there (or whatever it is I'm using)?

    Similarly, I can't tell exactly what kind of customers you are ideally suited for. Lots of businesses and individuals build products, but who among those people are you best suited to serve (and even better, who are most neglected)?

    I think your issue is less a "marketing" problem and more of a positioning/communications one. My advice is to sort that out first, and use whatever detail you have about your ideal customers as the basis for which channels to pursue.

    1. 2

      The design is definitely TailwindUI - you should check it out!

    2. 1

      Thank you very much for this valuable information. :) I 100% agree with what you are saying, we will fix these issues before continuing with any more marketing tactics.

      1. 1

        Feel free to reach out once you've drafted something new - I'd be happy to take a look at it.

        1. 1

          Thanks again for offering to do this, I just published quite a lot of changes to the marketing page, here is the link again: https://featurebase.app/

          1. 1

            sure my pleasure. I did look at your updates but I'd love to know a few more things about the product/business before I provide any more feedback (to ensure it's relevant/useful). If you could email me, I'll send you a few questions I have and then offer my thoughts on your messaging. My email is [email protected] - just put IndieHackers somewhere in the subject line.

  3. 3

    Just curious to know how did you create your landing page?. For website UI/UX did you approach some designer and then created it from scratch or did you used some online template?

    1. 2

      I have designed all the UI/UX from scratch myself. The main reason for this approach was because I wanted to learn / get better at design.

    1. 1

      A big differentiator is our pricing model. We have made it suitable for smaller teams. Our Indie Hacker plan allows you to collect unlimited feedback for just $15 per month. Other competitors have pretty complex and expensive pricing plans, that usually costs 2x - 10x our prices. Also, one selling point is the simple UI/UX, our tool is very easy to use and looks good. The third aspect is our customer support. We are young guys and are willing to work our ass off to keep existing customers happy. Doesn't matter what day or time it is. When a user runs into a problem or needs a new feature, we are always there to help. We should definitely bring these aspects out on our landing page as well.

  4. 2

    Check out Firefly Magic (free copy) and also Sarah Santacroce's stuff :)

    I'm growing a blog vs an app, but you might enjoy this piece I wrote recently / 📝 my thoughts on marketing

    1. 1

      Thanks for the information, will take a look at it! :)

  5. 1

    Love the design! really clean and nice.
    Did you design it from scratch or did you base it on a template?

  6. 1

    Hi Bruno! It seems that all founders suffer with this problem - I'd love to help. Check out my website and get in touch if you think it could be helpful for you! https://www.earthfound.studio/

  7. 1

    Cool-looking product! Canny is pretty transparent about growing their product so you should definitely follow what they've done so far to get to 1M ARR https://canny.io/blog/how-we-built-a-1m-arr-saas-startup/

    Btw I'm curious why did you go with a free trial instead of freemium?

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing! Found a lot of useful information from that :)

  8. 1

    Trust me, I'm kinda' in the same boat. I wouldn't say I hate marketing, but I definitely love coding :)
    I think marketing is simply something you need to learn, trial by error, all the good stuff -- and while I'm saying this, I still struggle with doing marketing myself :)

    1. 1

      Haha, that I have figured as well. Glad I am not the only one with this problem, thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts! 😀

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